Labor Day and Wardrobes

Submitted by ub on Mon, 09/05/2011 - 12:03

Did you also know that one of the most time-honored fashion traditions is to retire your white clothes after Labor Day. Most historians think this maxim stems from class divisions at the turn of the century when lightweight clothes were a symbol of the leisure classes.

Labor Day used to mark the time the affluent returned from vacation, packed away the summer clothes and went back to school and work. While there's a practical reason for the rule — white clothes dirty easily thus making them ill-suited for heavy autumn rains and winter slush — those who carried the rule through the decades had a less than practical reason for doing so.

Indeed, as the years went by, traditionalists and nouveau riche have continued to eschew winter whites throughout the 20th century in order to remain acceptable in high society. But where there's a rule, there is always a rule breaker: The BBC's greatest war correspondent Martin Bell flouted the custom and today many people have moved forward to a season-less wardrobe, wearing white always.

What do you have to say - Follow Tradition, or Tradition Be Damned?